Even though Fayetteville hasn’t held the event yet, state legislators want to make the Fayetteville Fried Chicken Festival the official fried chicken festival of North Carolina.
Rep. Elmer Floyd of Fayetteville and three other state House members have sponsored a bill that would be the first to recognize a state event honoring the Southern staple.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that the city’s first celebration of crispy poultry would be held on the third weekend of May. The city is already home to several large annual events including the Dogwood Festival and the International Folk Festival.
The annual North Carolina Poultry Jubilee in Rose Hill does feature the world’s largest frying pan and generates heaps of fried chicken, but it is not an official state event.
The bill was introduced after requests from Bill McMillan, executive director of the Re-Store Warehouse, a store that sells new and used furniture and raises money for local philanthropic organizations, the Observer reports.
Floyd is joined by fellow Democrat Rep. Charles Graham of Lumberton, as well as Republicans Rep. James L. Boles Jr. of Southern Pines and Rep. Josh Dobson of Nebo, who represents mountain counties.
North Carolina’s poultry industry “has an economic impact of over $36 billion and produces more than 126,000 jobs,” the bill said.
The festival would bring together farmers, consumers and cooks to show off the best the state has to offer related to fried chicken, the bill said. It also would be a marketing and promotional tool for Fayetteville, about an hour’s drive south from Raleigh.
If the bill passes, the fried chicken festival would join other officially recognized state food festivals including an Irish Potato Festival, livermush festivals in fall and spring, and watermelon festivals in the northeastern and southeastern parts of the state.